The trucking magnate has announced plans for the Essendon Fields Auto Alley – which will be developed alongside the Tullamarine Freeway’s new northern extension, which runs parallel to Matthews Avenue in Airport West.
Covering more than 5 hectares of land, the first stage of the development has been pre-committed by seven car dealerships including Honda, Mazda, Toyota, Hyundai, Jeep, Dodge Chrysler and Ford.
All up – the dealerships will occupy about 12,000 square metres of enclosed showroom space, and a further 50,000 square metres of surrounding land, which will be used to display new cars, and as pre-delivery, and storage areas.
“The concept of dealers being opposite each other creates a unique situation never before developed in Australia,” says Auto Alley leasing agent Craig Cunningham of Cunningham Property, who likens the end development to being “a permanent motor show”.
Driving demand, according to Mr Cunningham, is the location which would allow exposure to 100,000 cars per day passing along the Freeway.
He said later stages of the Auto Alley would allow for around another 12 car dealerships.
Essendon Fields is a 75-hectare commercial and retail precinct in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, that was created with the purchase in 2001 of a 99-year lease over the Essendon Airport by Lindsay Fox’s Linfox Property Group and Max Beck’s Beck Corporation.
Mr Fox, an avid car collector and one of Melbourne’s most successful businessman, recently made close to $3 million selling 30 classic cars from his collection including a rare 1957 Gullwing, which fetched more than $500,000.
He also recently donated 40 cars from his collection to set up the Fox Classic Car Museum, which gives its proceeds to charity.
It was widely speculated the Linfox boss put the classic cars on the market because he had outgrown the several facilities he used to store them.